Ecola State Park – Abandoned Lighthouse

I started to wander the trails in the area after taking several traditional shots of the beach, the ocean and the sea stacks at Ecola State Park.  You don’t see the lighthouse from the observation deck near the parking area but you do get a glimpse of it as you walk the paved trail down to the deck.  There are several other obvious trails leading away from the deck so I grabbed my case of filters and returned to the trails to see if I could get a view of the lighthouse.  The trail descended fairly steeply and could use a bit of erosion control along its entire length… just saying.  I met a couple coming out who asked me if I knew the area and how to access the beach.  In a word, no, I didn’t.  He described the trail ahead of me as a goatpath and set off to see if they could find beach access.  I hope they did.  They did confirm that I would get a good open view of the lighthouse.  Turns out that “good open view’ is a matter of personal taste.  I wanted a completely unobstructed view of the sky, lighthouse and ocean.  I did not want land in the foreground.  As the trail deteriorated to more of a narrow chute created by trail runoff the view of the lighthouse was close but the ocean view and horizon were obstructed by a hill to the north.  I started creeping though brush to what looked like a small grassy knoll that might offer the view I wanted.  I always try to remind myself that I am alone in situations like this and, really, there was nothing to really be concerned about.  Still, I had the self-talk and proceeded with caution.  I found my spot and set up.  The reach of the 70-200 lens gave me the view I wanted and removed the land from the scene.  A few tests later I had the base exposure, mounted the 10 stop ND, adjusted the exposure time accordingly and fired off two shots, packed up and returned to the car.  As I reviewed the images on the camera I once again smiled and gave myself another self-talk.  This time it was to remember how fortunate I am to have the time, resources and desire to get out there and participate in nature.  Oregon is a great place to explore.  It’s all good.

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The tech:  D800, ISO 64, 70-200 f/2.8, 40 sec., f/22

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One thought on “Ecola State Park – Abandoned Lighthouse

  1. I think this is one of your finest shots, Bruce. The muted grays, the isolation of the rock and structure upon which it sits, the expanse of ocean: these all give an ambiance to the scene that invokes strong emotions of loneliness, insignificance of self in the great scheme of things, fragility in the face of the elements, yet at the very same time, that even such a structure would be built and staffed, fearlessness, optimism, exploration. Very cool. I very much like your choice of lens in setting the mood tones (that I, personally, picked up)…had it been me, my first inclination might have been to zoom in more on the lighthouse, and that would have destroyed the very successful mood to the shot you realized. Good work!

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